Sometimes it takes years for people to find their calling. Others discover their passions early in their lives. Michaela Christian, a senior from Algona, Iowa, is one of the latter.
"I always knew heading into college that I wanted to major in accounting," she said. "I loved my accounting class in high school, and my passion for the field has only grown the more I learn through my courses at Iowa State University."
Christian aspires to become a leader in public accounting and mentor other young individuals who are beginning their accounting careers. The people who inspire Christian the most are those who take time to help others, and leaders who give back to their communities — in other words, the type of individuals who mirror Christian herself.
She also looks to her parents as inspiration and motivation to become the best she can be. While growing up, both of Christian's parents were reserve judge advocates in the U.S. Air Force, which meant that one of them would be gone for a week every other month or so. "Their absence, for service, taught me to take responsibility of my own schedule and schoolwork. To this day, I am lucky that I learned independence, a hard-work ethic and time management from the example set by my parents."
Since falling in love with the accounting profession, Christian's dream has been to work for a large public accounting firm — a goal that will come to fruition when she begins her career as a tax associate in fall 2018.
"Last spring during their busy season, I completed a tax internship with RSM in Des Moines. Upon wrapping up my time there, I was offered and accepted a full-time position with the company. I am so excited to help clients and continue to grow in the public accounting industry," Christian said.
Receiving support from the Heiden Fund for Women in Business has been a profound honor for Christian. "The greatest impact has been the financial assistance, which allows me to focus on my coursework instead of worrying about working extra hours in order to afford tuition," she said.
"I will always remember the generosity of Cara Heiden, who I am greatly appreciative of for supporting me as I reach my educational goals. I hope to follow her example as a leader and give back one day, as she has done for me."
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